Molecular characterization of Hepatitis C virus 3a in Peshawar

Amina Gul, Nabeela Zahid, Jawad Ahmed, Fazli Zahir, Imtiaz Ali Khan, Ijaz Ali
BMC Infectious Diseases 2016 April 18, 16: 163

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to explore molecular epidemiology of HCV genotype 3a in Peshawar based on sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of Core region of HCV genome.

METHODS: Chronically infected Hepatitis C virus infected patients enrolled under the Prime Minister Hepatitis C control program at three Tertiary care units of Peshawar [Khyber Teaching Hospital Peshawar, Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar, Hayat Abad Medical Complex Peshawar] were included in this cross sectional observational study. Qualitative detection of HCV and HCV genotyping was carried out by a modified reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and type specific genotyping assay. The Core gene of HCV genotype 3a was amplified, cloned and sequenced. The sequences obtained were used for phylogenetic analysis using MEGA 6 software.

RESULTS: Among the 422 (82.75 %) PCR positive samples, 192 (45.5 %) were identified as having HCV genotype 3a infection. HCV Core gene sequencing was carried out randomly for the characterization of HCV 3a. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the obtained viral genomic sequences based on partial HCV 3a Core gene sequences with reference sequences from different countries showed that our sequences clustered with some local and regional sequences with high bootstrap values.

CONCLUSION: HCV 3a is highly prevalent in Peshawar, Pakistan and its phylogenetics based on Core gene sequences indicate the prevalence of different lineages of HCV 3a in Peshawar which may have consequences for disease management strategies causing more economic pressure on the impoverished population due to possible antiviral resistance.

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